SACROBOSCO, Johannes de (d. 1256 [1244?]). Sphaera mundi. - Georgius von PEURBACH (1423-1461). Theoricae novae planetarum. - Johannes REGIOMONTANUS (Johann MLLER of Knigsberg, 1436-1476). Disputationes contra Cremonensia in planetarum theoricas deliramenta. [Venice:] Erhard Ratdolt, [before 4 November] 1485.
Super-chancery 4o (199 x 141 mm). Collation: 1-68 710 (1/1r blank, 1/1v title, 1/2r Sphaera mundi, 3/2v Theoricae novae planetarum, 6/5r Disputationes, 7/10 colophon). 58 leaves. 32 lines. Types: 8:91R (text), 4:76G (table on last page), 10:65G (inscriptions on earlier diagrams), 6:56 (inscriptions on frontispiece and later diagrams). Woodcut white-on-black floriated initials 2 and 5. Full-page woodcut of an astrolabe, 61 woodcut diagrams, seven printed in colors (olive, ochre, red and black, some of the red coloring apparently applied by hand). (Some mostly marginal soiling.) Early 20th-century boards, early ms. title lettered on lower edge (joints cracked). Provenance: Riccia heirs (17th or 18th-century inscription on first blank page); a very few early marginalia and underlinings.
Second Ratdolt edition. Based on Ptolemy and his Arabic commentators, Sacrobosco's treatise was the fundamental astronomy text of the late middle ages, and was taught in all the schools of Europe until well into the 16th century. Approximately 30 15th-century editions are known. Venetian incunable editions from Ratdolt's 1482 edition on added to Sacrobosco's text Peurbach's textbook of planetary theory, written as a replacement for the old and inaccurate Theorica planetarum of Gerardus Cremonensis, a standard text of the late 13th century. Regiomontanus first printed the work in 1474; Zinnner lists 56 editions through the mid-17th century. "Peurbach's models remained the canonical physical description of the structure of the heavens until Tycho disproved the existence of solid spheres" (DSB). The diagrams of these Venetian editions, which are essential components of the work, parts of Peurbach's text being unintelligible without them, were copied from Regiomontanus' original printing (in which some of the diagrams were hand-colored). They are identified in a later edition as the work of Johannes Lucilius Santritter, who was probably Ratdolt's editor (cf. BMC). Nearly half of the astronomical diagrams are new to this edition, the remainder being reprinted from the 1482 edition.
Goff J-406; HC *14111; BMC V, 290 (IA. 20546); IGI 5344; Klebs 874.10; Redgrave 57; Essling 259; Sander 6662.